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86 Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside 5.4.4 Accessibility Transit-related signs must conform to the same visibility/legibility requirements as other curb- side or in-terminal signs and displays. Where possible, information aids for wayfinding, transit trip planning, and real-time bus/train arrival should provide information both visually and aurally. Information kiosks or computer stations should conform to the Federal Government's Section 508 standards for accessibility. 5.5 Sign Design Elements Although the MUTCD is a recognized standard and guide for roadway signing, airports can generally make their own decisions when it comes to signing along terminal curbsides. Some air- ports have developed their own sign standards for their respective facilities for consistency, con- tinuity, and identity. Boston Logan, DFW, Miami, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong international airports are a few examples where airport-specific signing design standards and guides are imple- mented35. These guidelines take into account specific location, architecture, codes, languages, demographics, etc., that apply to their airport but may not necessarily translate to other airports because of these exact considerations. Many of the same design elements used inside the termi- nal can be applied on the curbside area (refer to Section 6.5). As mentioned previously, regulatory signs are typically designed to most closely resemble the guidance within the MUTCD than are other sign types along the curbside. This may be attrib- uted to local code requirements, but mostly because reasonable and prudent people easily rec- ognize and quickly interpret their meaning. It is the placement and mounting of regulatory signs that are modified to meet the physical restrictions of a curbside area such as awnings, canopies, columns, and other structural and/or architectural elements. 5.5.1 Terminology Airports come in many sizes and various configurations. While one airport may have a single terminal on one level, another may have multiple terminals with two or three levels. These dif- ferences impact how airport managers designate where people access different functions. For smaller terminals on a single level, using the terminology of "Ticketing" or "Passenger Check-In" may be sufficient to distinguish from "Baggage Claim" along the curbside. The terms "Arrivals" and "Departures" are more widely encountered at larger airports with a split curbside and are just as valid at smaller airports. At airports with larger facilities, how the terminals and access roads are designed plays a signif- icant part as to what signing becomes necessary. For departures, identifying terminals and airlines are the most important bits of information. In North America, the terms "arrivals" and "depar- tures" are commonly used to differentiate the primary functions along the curbside. In some instances, the terms "Passenger Drop-Off" and "Passenger Pick-Up" are used to designate the dif- ferent functions, but it is advised to use the more universal terms of "arrivals" and "departures." Terminology for other items is often influenced by operational decisions and factors. For example, areas used by courtesy vehicles operations may be combined into a category called "Shuttles"; however, these may be broken out into "Hotel Shuttles," "Rental Car Shuttles," and "Airport Shuttles" at another airport. The term "Shuttles" or "Ground Transportation" should be used to guide patrons to the general area of ground transportation vehicles, and then more specific functions can be called out (e.g., "Hotel Shuttles" and "Rental Car Shuttles") once the person has arrived at the ground transportation area.
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Curbside and Ground Transportation 87 5.5.2 Symbology As commercial aviation has expanded the ability for people to travel virtually anywhere around the world, the need for airports to communicate with individuals from various nations, speaking different languages, has also grown. Symbols can overcome the need to reproduce direc- tions and information in multiple languages. Symbols should be used to reinforce and provide visual confirmation of sign messages. The 2001 Guide36 does provide, however, a visual inventory of the most widely accepted symbol stan- dards in current use. In addition, Section 6.5.2 contains symbol families currently in use at major airports. The 2001 Guide36 provides examples of acceptable symbols for various functions and desig- nations. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) also compiled a reference of symbol signs that are considered internationally acceptable37. As airport users see a standard set of symbols deployed across airports, people begin to identify them through the repetition and eventually seek them out for assistance and guidance. 5.5.3 Typography While the argument continues about whether sans serifs are easier to read than serif fonts in text copy, sans serif typefaces, because their letter shapes are simpler, have been proven to be slightly more legible than their serifed cousins. Although the MUTCD can be a starting point for font and text size, the geometry and configuration of the curbside may require deviation from the MUTCD. On the departures level, the most important information patrons need to recognize is the ter- minal identification and the airline identifications. It is recommended that minimum text height of 8 inches be used if possible. This letter height may influence if a static sign must be used or if enough clearance is provided so that an internally illuminated sign box can be provided. See Sec- tion 6.5.3 for additional information. 5.5.4 Arrows The placement of arrows on sign faces should conform to a uniform standard. The following guidelines are suggested for the placement of arrows: General Arrow Placement: · Arrows should never point into text. · Left-facing arrows should be located toward the left side of signs. · Right-facing arrows should be located toward the right side of signs. · Forward-facing and/or downward-facing arrows are typically located close to the flow of traf- fic. Refer to the previous discussion regarding which direction arrows should face for vehicle traffic versus pedestrian traffic. General Text Alignment with Arrows: · Left-facing arrows require left justified text. · Right-facing arrows require right justified text. · Forward-facing and/or downward-facing arrows require text to be justified closest to the flow of traffic (e.g., if forward traffic is hugging the right side of a corridor, the arrow should be on the right side of the face with the text justified right, and vice versa). See Section 6.5.4 for additional information on arrows.